A 2017 report conducted by the Anti-Defamation League shows that 18 people were killed by white supremacist groups, and that white supremacist groups account for the highest number of extremist-related killings in the United States.
The report said that 34 people were killed by domestic extremists last year, mostly by right-wing extremists who accounted for 20 of the 34 deaths. 18 of those 20 were by white supremacists making it the fifth deadliest year for extremist violence since 1970.
“Extremism in any form is an issue,” said Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt in a statement. “Foreign born, politically minded extremism or racially focused extremism. What the data tells us in the past 10 plus years is it is far right-wing extremism, white supremacists and their ilk that are responsible for more extremist-related murders than any other group.”
Greenblatt pointed to the current national climate in the wake of President Trump taking office as emboldening the actions of white supremacists.
“Concretely, it confirms extremists feel emboldened in the current environment. Right-wing extremists in particular were responsible for nearly 60% of extremist-related fatalities last year. The data lays bare that this is not an exaggeration, as some would try to paint it.”
Because of the killing of the 49 people in the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando in 2016, the actual number of victims of extremist violence technically declined in 2017. But since right-wing extremists committed the majority of 2017 killings the ADL worries about the impact these murders are having on communities.
“If we’re going to solve this problem, extremism of any kind must be taken seriously,” Greenblatt said.
Although the shooting in Las Vegas in October could be considered an act of terror, it was not reflected in the ADL report because the motive of the shooter was unknown.